Easy 30-Minute Dinner Ideas

There’s a time and a place for a meal that takes over an hour to make, but dinner ideas that can be made in 30 minutes or less? Now we’re talking …

Today, I’m sharing 30-minute meal ideas (by category) from our archives that are quick and easy, without skimping on flavor.

Soup and Chili

Let’s start with my favorite category: Soup! It’s my go-to anytime I want a quick meal at home. Which is pretty much always …

Baked potato and broccoli cheddar soup

Here’s the recipe for baked potato & broccoli cheddar soup (pictured above).

Easy black bean soup recipe

The easiest black bean soup recipe. I bet you already have most of the ingredients for this recipe at home!

30 minute white veggie chili

I just made a batch of Emma’s white vegetarian chili and it’s even better the next day.

Easy taco soup with plenty of “fixings” should be a repeat meal idea in every household, in my opinion.

20 minute tomato tortellini soup

Sometimes soup needs something extra—like tortellini. Specifically cheese tortellini in tomato soup. Yum!

I highly recommend this 10-minute creamy tomato soup, too. It has a “secret ingredient” that makes it dairy-free, but you would never know.

Red lentil vegetarian soup

Here’s a veggie chili recipe that ups the protein with the addition of red lentils. Don’t forget to add Fritos—they’re a must-have on chili.

Nothing compares to homemade chicken noodle soup. If you’re craving the good stuff, here’s the recipe for quick rotisserie chicken noodle soup. Emma is a genius, I swear.

Click here for more soup recipes!


OK, it’s pizza time. If the thought of making pizza from scratch seems overwhelming, hear me out.

30 minute sheet pan pizza

This 30-minute sheet pan pizza recipe uses fast-acting yeast, and it can be made in a sheet pan. Perfect!

St. Louis style pizza

Have you tried St. Louis-style pizza? It uses our yeast-free thin crust dough recipe, and plenty of Provel cheese.

This 10-minute pizza dough recipe has a soft, biscuit-like texture and doesn’t require any yeast or rise time.

Click here for more pizza recipes!


Switching gears to one of the best things in life: pasta.

Brussels sprouts and shells

I love Emma’s stovetop Brussels and shells recipe when I’m craving pasta but want a little more nutrition.

Whole wheat one pot pasta

Have you ever made a one pot pasta?

Our whole wheat one pot pasta recipe is made with whole wheat pasta, it’s super easy to make, and has a lot of flavor. And, it’s even better with fresh herbs and parmesan on top.

You can have your pasta (and vegetables, too) with this creamy broccoli pasta recipe.

Let’s talk about pasta sauce.

We have a couple options in the homemade department, and they are so much better than store-bought sauces:

spicy peanut noodles

These spicy peanut noodles have a pad Thai vibe with the addition of orange bell peppers. Yum!

This baked garlic and kale gnocchi is the ultimate comfort dish. And it has in kale in it, so it’s good for you, right?

Creamy winter pasta salad

This creamy winter pasta salad is perfect as a meal because it’s packed with delicious, good-for-you ingredients like pumpkin-shaped butternut squash pasta.

If you love pasta salad, check out Emma’s 3 easy pasta salad dressing recipes.

I couldn’t skip this fettuccine recipe. It’s a must have. Creamy pea and fresh herb fettuccine (with an emphasis on fresh herbs). So much flavor in one dish!

Click here for more pasta recipes!


We have so many curry recipes on the blog!

If you’re a curry fan, you’re going to be obsessed with this 20-minute vegetable green curry.

Easy pumpkin curry

Get ready for this flavor combination: pumpkin curry.

Oh yes, it’s amazing and easy to make (or it wouldn’t be on this list). Haha. Click here for Emma’s pumpkin curry recipe.

Curry tip: Use a rice cooker to speed up the process (even more) like Emma did with this easy vegetarian Massaman curry recipe.

Chickpea yellow curry

Throw some chickpeas (and protein) into the mix with chickpea yellow curry. Perfect for a cold night.

A simple yellow curry (with the addition of potatoes) is so good.

Easy chicken verde enchiladas

Casseroles, Salads, Stir Fry, and More

Casseroles typically take a while to bake, but these chicken verde enchiladas are similar, and much faster. They’re so good and a perfect meal idea if you’re having company over.

I love adding pumpkin to recipes (regardless of the season) like Emma did with these chipotle and pumpkin veggie enchiladas. So good!

Spicy tempeh taco salad

There’s a restaurant in my hometown that serves the best taco salad, and that’s what this spicy tempeh taco salad recipe is based from.

You could add ground beef or chicken to yours if tempeh isn’t your thing. Speaking of salad, I highly recommend these Thai lettuce wraps, too!

Toated ravioli salad

Hear me out. I didn’t know toasted ravioli belonged on top of salad until I tried this quick toasted ravioli salad, and now I’m hooked.

Stir fry is always a good idea, and honey and miso stir fry is one of those recipes that I always go back to.

The seasonings and (cooking method) of this stir fry spaghetti squash recipe will make you think you’re eating real noodles.

Mostly raw pad thai spring rolls

I love fresh spring rolls—especially these mostly raw pad Thai spring rolls. The hardest part of this recipe is chopping everything up, so grab a helper or a vegetable chopper.

Cashew chicken sauce

Cashew chicken is a big deal where I live, so knowing how to make the sauce for it is pretty crucial. You can use it on chicken, cauliflower, or any veggies. It’s a good staple to have around!

We’ve been sharing a bunch of air fryer recipes on the blog lately. Once we realized how many things you could air fry, it was like a light bulb turned on. Air fried salmon? Ohhh, yes.

You can also air fry things like chicken wings. These come out nice and crispy every time.

Click here for more air fryer recipes!

I hope this roundup inspires you to make something quick and delicious this week! xo, Jacki

  • As a college student, I need something quick and nutritious to eat. And this blog gave me exactly that. Thank you so much for sharing all these ideas! Will definitely try some:))

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